A while back I bought some records online from my friend Dr. Gunni. The primary reason for me placing the order with him was to get my hands on his very reasonably priced copy of the thrash metal album W.C. Monster by the Icelandic band Bootlegs. However, I also bought a few other things from him which I promptly listened to and wrote about… and left W.C. Monster sitting on my shelf, collecting dust and getting angrier and angrier at me for not playing it. And now that I’m listening to it for the first time, I can’t believe I waited this long.
I can’t tell you too much about Bootlegs. They put out two LPs – the first was W.C. Monster in 1989, followed the next year by the self-titled Bootlegs. Both have earned cult status among both metalheads and Icelandic music fans due to the limited press runs – I’ve seen references online to W.C. Monster being limited to only 300 copies, but I can’t validate this information. Given that I found a hand-written note in my copy with an address for the Bootlegs Fan Club that also let me know I could order a band shirt for 1,000 kr, It wouldn’t be surprising though – I can’t imagine the band writing a few thousand of these out. Vinyl copies of each command fairly healthy prices in the $100+ range, though both are also available on CD as well – Bootlegs both as an original 1990 release as well as a 2014 re-release, while W.C. Monster only saw its first digital pressing last year. So at least the music remains affordably accessible. In fact you can buy a digital download of W.C. Monster, along with some additional live tracks, for just $7 HERE.
W.C. Monster is some killer thrash, with just a tiny bit of punk rock thrown in for good measure. It’s fast and it’s loud. The drums are used like exclamation points, crashing down around you, and the guitars shred. If Suicidal Tendencies and Metallica had merged and become one band around 1986, it probably would have sounded something like this. I feel like I should be telling you more about individual songs and such, but dammit, I just want to listen to this thing. There isn’t a single clunker on W.C. Monster. But don’t take my word for it – there are at least three songs off this album available on YouTube for you to check out HERE, HERE, and HERE, so go give ’em a listen. You may just want to plunk down that seven bucks for the download or try to track down a copy of the CD if you do.
When you play vinyl roulette with used records, you generally don’t know what you’re going to get. Generally speaking I find something enjoyable in just about every record I buy and play, but there certainly have been a few flat out dogs too. Every once in a while, though, you come across something that totally blows you away with its awesomeness, and W.C. Monster was one of those records for me – absolutely killer, and right in my wheelhouse. This one goes straight into the “heavy rotation” pile. Thanks Dr. Gunni!